But, the University of Coimbra in Central Portugal is the location for one of the world’s grandest and unique libraries, the Biblioteca Joanina. The Library is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. That brings us to the oldest, still running, public library in the world. ©Paul Highnam/Country Life. >"The library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery located at the foot of the legendary Mount Sinai, is the oldest continually operating library in the world ." It is housed in a beautiful sandstone building dating from 1421 which was built to accommodate the priests of Manchester’s Collegiate Church. The entire collection at Chetham’s Library has been designated as one of national and international importance. Lisbon has one of the coolest and most popular bookstores, Ler Devegar. "Due to its age and importance in the Christian world, the monastery’s library has the second largest collection of Located in Nineveh in modern day Iraq, the site included a trove of some 30,000 cuneiform tablets organized according to subject matter. It dates back to 1368, making it almost 650 years old. The world’s oldest known library was founded sometime in the 7th century B.C. Only monks and invited scholars are allowed inside. This incredible city has a rich and vibrant history, from the oldest tanneries in the world, to the world’s oldest library in Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque. Like most writers, I grew up adoring libraries. Fez is the imperial city of Morocco and was once the capital, where many sultans reigned over the kingdom. Founded in 859, it’s the oldest working library in the world, holding ancient manuscripts that date as far back as 12 centuries. La Bibliotheque National de France (National Library of France). for the “royal contemplation” of the Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal. Libraries around the world have long been revered as temples of human knowledge. Porto is home to (what many consider to be) the most beautiful bookstore in the world, Livraria Lello. “And this is the oldest library in use in the world,” the guide said, indicating the closed door at one corner of the square, past a crooked old tree. Given such ‘antiquated’ credentials, it is generally believed that the king post truss of the Saint Catherine’s Monastery is the oldest surviving roof truss in the world. But modern life had taken a toll on the library, with its buildings falling into disrepair. Reading Room chained books. They’ve been a part of monasteries, royal palaces, museums, universities and even hospitals. 1,157 years after it first opened, the world's oldest library has finally been restored and unveiled to the public. Entrance to this miraculously well-preserved complex of 15th-century buildings is through a gatehouse that opens off Long Millgate into a spacious yard. The ancient al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez isn’t just the oldest library in Africa. The library was discovered by archaeologists who were excavating at the site of Nineveh, today known as Kuyunjik. Chetham’s Library has been in continuous use as a public library for over 350 years. The library isn’t accessible to the public! Some boast an incredibly romantic past while others, like the Library of Alexandria, were destroyed in war or purposely purged when rulers were replaced and governments fell. Chetham’s School and Library. The Darby Free Library in Darby, Pennsylvania, is “America’s oldest public library, in continuous service since 1743.” Peterborough Town Library in Peterborough, New Hampshire, was the first tax-supported free public library not only in the United States but the world. 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